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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Cold Baths

[Suzuki is talking about monks who take cold baths in the morning and evening which he said is harder to do than the morning.] This kind of practice is not orthodox practice, but according to the situation of the monastery we apply various ways of life and to keep chance to renew our mind and body. Especially people who live in San Francisco where climate is always same, it may be necessary to have some pool for Zen monks to take cold baths. Maybe exciting practice for us, and it will give pretty good stimulation for San Francisco people. I am busy now with everyday activity, but if you want I think you can do it, and you are young enough to do it. It doesn't mean to be involved in ascetic practice, it is the purpose of those practices -- physically and spiritually. We say if we are caught by even the idea of Zen we call that sticking to it and  not being fresh enough -- old stinky Zen student! But if we do not have some chance to renew our practice, soon we will be stinky student.     --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-12-29 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC 

DC Comment: I don't recall anyone taking Suzuki up on this. Maybe individuals did. Some of us would go into the creek in winter at Tassajara.